The Editions Show at Project 78

Still looking for Christmas presents and hoping to find something arty but affordable? The current exhibition at Project 78 in St Leonards might provide the answer. The gallery is selling limited edition pieces from the artists who have exhibited there during the past two years. I admit that I am biased as two of my works are included, but it makes for a fascinating show. There is such variety: sculpture, prints, a single record, a memory stick, a small bag of rice, even a table and in prices, which range from £25 to £2000.


Here are a few of them; they will be on sale in the gallery until the second week of January and on line at

I wrote about Neil Ayling’s work back in November last year and for this exhibition he has produced is this small but intriguing aluminium sculpture in a limited edition of eight at £85 each.


Izabela Brudkiewicz is a performance artist who spent a week last summer counting grains of rice; 21,780 of them. For this exhibition she has produced seven mysterious little hand-made bags each one representing an hour of her time and costing £60. Brudkiewicz will be returning to Project 78 and again counting rice in the New Year.



I was impressed by the recent exhibition from Anne Marie Watson whose flow of consciousness writing took the form of a meticulous circle. She has produced seven much smaller ones, all diffferent but still mind-blowing in their precision. They cost £100 each, £120 framed


Anybody must love Martin Symons‘ chickens in a limited edition of 10 at £75.p1000842

Or if you are feeling flush there may still be a chance to acquire one of Patrick Adam Jones‘ large and dramatic “I am” pictures at £2000; four of the edition of five have already sold.



Or how about one of mine? They  relate to the floating sculptures Nostalgia for the Body  which was shown back in May and are part digital prints, part collage using material from the original installation which was itself hand-painted. They are each in an edition of ten, but all slightly different and cost £60 unframed, £100 framed.


The little purple table, in a limited edition of ten is by Becky Beasley and Marc Camille Charmonicz and relates to the summer show A House of Life. It could well prove a profitable investment Marc Carmille Charmonicz’ exhibition, an Autumn Lexicon, has just finished at the Serpentine Gallery in London. The price of the table goes up by £100 every time one is purchased.


A very popular item at the Private View was a memory stick containing the video of the haunting Trees and Keys by Overlap;


they are £56 each, or if you prefer old technology for £80 you can buy one of an edition of ten singles of the work Bass Superstructure  by Caleb Madden which was recorded in the project space. p1000867

Editions 16 is showing at Project 78, until 7 January  78 Norman Road, St. Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN38 0EJ 

Tom Hammick and Patrick Adam Jones’s Map

About a year ago, Julian Bell, Tom Hammick and Andre Jackowski held what was billed as a joint exhibition  – Dreams of Here at Brighton Museum. In the event the result was more like three separate exhibitions; not only were the three artists in separate rooms but even of the colour of the walls of the rooms were different. So when Hammick and Patrick Adam Jones were invited hold an exhibition together at the Baker Mamonova Gallery  in St Leonards, the two artists were keen that the exhibition should be a dialogue. When I visited Map this weekend, the paintings in the window gave an initial impression that they might have succeeded. Inside  it was clear that whilst the pair might have arrived at the party together, once there, they merely nodded politely at each across the room rather than engaged in deep discussion.

2013-05-11 16.13.40
Paintings by Tom Hammick and Patrick Adam Jones in the window of the Baker Mamonova Gallery

It was hardly surprising; their styles are very different. Tom Hammick’s are the more representational; shacks, gardens and people, particularly his wife and daughter, frequently feature in his works and while the viewer may not immediately understand all the thinking that goes into the painting, they will have a fair idea of what it that they are looking at. In contrast, Patrick Adam Jones works are often layered and the details may be partly obscured so that the complexity only becomes apparent through study.  Hammick chooses bright, bold, vibrant colours – he achieves some wonderful blues and purples; Adam Jones frequently favours shades of white and near white and works in wax which give the works an extraordinary translucency. They come together to some extent in the size of the works and, in this exhibition, there was supposedly the link of the map, though it was somehow rather hard to spot: Adam Jones sometimes uses maps as a base for his works and with  Hammick the works are – well – loosely connected to places – but then aren’t most things?

It was interesting to see how the artists had developed over the last year. Hammick’s works were familiar;  the subject matter and colours were those one has come to expect. They included the woodcut of the Exon filling station and the painting Compound which both appeared at Brighton last year and an extremely desirable print Edgelands, which has also appeared before in different colour combinations – all classic Hammick works. There were also some new paintings, on a smaller scale than I had seen hitherto, including Orchard a simple but beautifully coloured painting of a ladder against a tree and Island Study.

Tom Hammick: Compound
Tom Hammick: Compound
Tom Hammick: Island Study
Tom Hammick: Island Study

Adam Jones had a number of his wax based paintings in the exhibition, such as Inside, shown below. I like the way with these works that you can see different elements in different lights.

2013-05-18 14.32.13
Patrick Adam Jones:Inside

There was  a departure in the highly complex piece,  Of Course, a large mixed media piece, involving a collection of works on paper behind glass on which he had applied a series of digits.

2013-05-11 15.36.48
Patrick Adam Jones: of Course

It was interesting and I was intrigued by the way the digits were more evident against some of the backgrounds than against others; this was a work which needed time appreciate the different elements. I particularly liked the way that the numbers gave the impression of the passing of time.  But, probably annoyingly since it must have taken  ages to create, some of the water colours impressed me as much – there was a  series of nine that worked extraordinarily well together.

2013-05-11 15.35.07
Patrick Adam Jones: Watercolours

There were some of the familiar words which Adam Jones has used in many of his paintings – I could have been a farmer but these little paintings which had clearly been done quickly had a freshness and somehow a sense of mystery which made you want to study them and which I really liked. So it appears do other people; three had been bought already; I predict it will not take long before the others are gone as well.

Map is showing at the Baker Mamonova Gallery in  43-53 Norman Road, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex  until June 1.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition – what sells

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is always interesting, because in one intense burst you get a snapshot of what people up and down the land are actually producing and what people are prepared to fork out good money for.   Once the artworks have had a chance to accumulate, or fail to accumulate, little red sold circles,  it becomes an exercise in sociology as much as art appreciation and all the better for that.

So what sells?

  • Anything to do with cats
  • Anything for less than £150
  • Cats that are less than £150
  • Paintings or photographs in shades of grey, the difference being that in art, rather than books, shades of grey couldn’t possibly be said to be in poor taste
  • Bizarre things you think are in execrable taste,
  • and finally a painting you might have bought had you the money,  because amongst all the boring, sentimental and the weirdly horrible there is some fairly good stuff (aka stuff I think is good because every single piece has to be thought of as good by somebody otherwise it wouldn’t be there)

    Who wants to buy a cat? More people than want the zebra which was above.

The Summer Exhibition demonstrates, as nothing else can, the subjectivity of taste. I had just finished slagging off what I thought was an  extraordinarily horrible art work;  round it was and vaguely glittery. I have strong views about glitter; it should be limited to Christmas cards and self-adornment by the under 20s, when two women, possibly mother and daughter made a bee line for the work and spent some time in front of it. Might they actually be thinking of buying it? Where would they possibly put it. Alas I failed to capture it. Photography is forbidden so I  and quite a few others pretend to be checking our mobiles and take a surreptitious photograph before attracting the attention of the attendants. Inevitably some of the results are a bit lopsided.

This year it is the turn of the small painting; they are hung in the Grand Gallery to give more emerging artists a chance. The sculptures on the other hand seem to be heaped up willy-nilly as if they are a job lot in a provincial auction.

The sculptures seem plomped in the centre of the room

There are fewer red circles among the sculptures, though I do notice that a bronze cat is already taken.  The £150 rule applies here as well, an edition of a ceramic tape measure and a box of matches are both enviably red spotted.

If the small paintings have centre stage, they do not individually have more space. They are hung in  a wave that goes round the room and which actually looks better in reality than it does in photographs. As an installation, perhaps exploring the futility of painting, the arrangement is strong enough. However stacked on top of each other some ten deep, the eye is drawn by bursts of colour and then goes off at a tangent: “ugh I don’t like that pink one!” “why did they choose that dog?”  There is of course no information; the catalogue gives the name of the artist and the price; artists’ works are separated so it is hard to make comparisons or get any sense of an artist’s style.

I spot two by Tom Hammick – in different rooms. Tom is a tutor at Brighton University; he had rather a splendid exhibition at Brighton Museum. I like his work – the two the RA have chosen are pleasant enough but not to my mind nearly as good as his picture of a filling station or the slightly strange picture of some hoardings. They are small however.

Moonlit woods by Tom Hammick

I also track down one by Patrick Adam Jones. Patrick is a brilliant tutor and head of the FDA course in Fine Art Contemporary Practice at Sussex Coast College. If I hadn’t scoured the catalogue I would have never have found it. It is half way down a wall, small, white, almost translucent, deceptively simple actually rather interesting but completely let down by its position. It needed room to breathe.

This painting by Patrick Adam Jones needed room to breathe

I tell Patrick I have seen his painting; he is embarrassed even to be in the exhibition, though his Mum is pleased, and probably his kids too because he did take them to see it there, though he said he had to buy then a good lunch to make up for it. Pleasing your Mum and your kids has its attractions. He was persuaded to submit, he says; rather unconvincingly, he adds ‘never again’.

This is the problem with the Summer Exhibition, successful artists feel self-conscious and apologetic about taking part. That is hardly surprising in view of some of the stuff that gets in, some of the truly terrible stuff that is trotted out by Royal Academicians and because if you a happen to be selected it was because your painting was small rather than the one you consider to be your best.  The Summer Exhibition is in its 244th year, people  have been talking about updating it for at least the last 50 years probably the last 100; this year the Exhibition has had a rather a better press than usual, so the embarrassment factor may be diminishing.  To make it really cutting edge would mean fewer works by Academicians,  fewer art works chosen overall, more space given to each one; nobody would be happy with that either: the punters couldn’t buy the cats, with over 12,000 works submitted annually, even more artists would be turned down and the RA would make less money, so things are unlikely to change that much.